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Otouto: (l-r) Kishore Ryan, Martha Brown and Hazel Brown

Otouto: (l-r) Kishore Ryan, Martha Brown and Hazel Brown

Sorry for the ages that have passed since my last post, I’ve been rather busy with other matters (year 12’ll do that to you), but I’m back! It’s been even longer since I’ve done a theatre review, and those seem to be by far the most popular. It’s mainly a result of not seeing any plays (that’ll do it) but I’m seeing one tonight, The Hamlet Apocalypse, and I’ll try to get a review up by Monday night. Yay! Moving on from myself-

Two Bright Lakes is a Melbourne-based artist-run record label. Tonight they’re having a little do at Ya-Ya’s as part of the Fringe Festival, showcasing the talent of a few of their bands. Namely Otouto, Kid Sam, Psuche and Nick Huggins. Otouto’s frontwoman, Hazel Brown, kindly took the time to answer some questions for us:

How’s things?
Busy!
You supported Sarah Blasko on Thursday, that’s pretty exciting. How did that come about?
We have a new manager for Otouto, Adam Yee. He also happens to be a wonderful booking agent.
How’s the new album going?
It’s pretty much finished, but it won’t be out til March 2010. Our first single will be Sushi which we’ll just sell at shows and maybe through Polyester Records.
Your new stuff is very different from your first album, and along with that you’re now Otouto instead of Hazel Brown. What prompted the shift, musically and nominally?
It was a natural shift. Playing with Martha and great friend Kishore, we wanted to have an all encompassing name that gave us all credit and allowed us to be more collaborative.
Personally, what bands/artists do you listen to the most?
At the moment I am listening to Lake, The Dirty Projectors, (soundtrack) Where the Wild Things Are, No Kids and I’ve been listening to Arthur Russell and his many different styles for the past year or two, can’t get enough.
How did you first get into playing and writing music, and how did Otouto (then Hazel Brown, and with a trumpet in there) get together?
I started playing music at school: recorder, singing, violin then guitar. I started writing songs when I started playing guitar and had lessons with Mark Elliott who was very encouraging and inspiring. I recorded Rivers and Veins when I was 19 with the help of my sister Martha, and when we finished it we needed a band. Dave (trumpet) and Kishore (drums) were friends of friends and we started rehearsing.
What’s the process for you guys of creating a song, do you consciously aim for anything in particular musically?
Most of the time there are a few ideas already formed, and we discuss where we want it to end up. But most of the time during the writing process the song changes and doesn’t end up the way we imagined.
Where did the name ‘Otouto’ come from?
A book called (more…)

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Oo

Two Bright Lakes
Two bright stakes
Waiting at the gates
Wandering in breaks
Washing on the shore
Whither to the floor.
I will sing no more.
At the record store.

But Two Bright Lakes artists will sing and play

tomorrow at the RRR open day.

They’re a Melbourne-based artist-run record label by the way.

Check out their music: http://www.myspace.com/twobrightlakes
Event page (use it): http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=100878165155&ref=ts#/event.php?eid=147458364728

Two Bright Lakes at RRR open day. Psuche, Otouto and Kid Sam. Triple R performance Space, 221 Nicholson St (Cnr Nicholson & Blyth). 12.00pm, 20 Spetember. Free.

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This post sort of violates this blog’s description, seeing as it’s about a band. But I think  I’m going to expand the blog to cover all the arts, focused on what’s going on in melbourne. A kind of ‘what’s going on in the melbourne music/theatre/film/miscellanious world. But for now- Me and the Grownups.

 

Me and the Grownups are the most original band you’ll hear this year.
Paul Shields
Scene Magazine

They’re a Melbourne band who are playing at the Astor cinema tonight (as in Thursday). Most bands claim to have a ‘completely original sound’ or to be ‘genre-defying’, but Me and the Grownups really are. They’ve got Violin/Viola (Jonathan Drefus), guitar (Adrian Sergovich) and vocals (Anita Lester) and their genre would have to be described as folk-pop-jazz-classical. The instuments and Anita’s voice weave around each other, on much more equal status than the usual ‘vocals with backing’. Anita’s lyrics read like poetry, whipping up beautifully unusual imagery. There’s not really any need for me to go on describing their music, you can have a listen here.
As I said, they started up in 2006, and since then they’ve released two albums, Battling the Mountains the Sky and the Sea and Knowing Lovers, Naive Lovers. Staunchly percussion free throughout both albums, they let a hint of drums onto the title track of their recent EP My Perfect Storm. Tonight they’ll be backed up by a woodwind quartet, something they have rather a penchant for, and Timothy Nelson’s from Perth is also playing. Anita animates, along with doing all the bands artwork, and some of her animations will be on view. Sometimes I find their music lacks a gut-punching emotional core, especially in recording, but at the one other night-time gig of theirs I’ve been to it was most definitely present. With no ready-made market for their music (too classical to be pop and too pop to be classical), they’re slowly but surely winning people over. Have a listen, and if you like what you hear, I’ll see you there!

DISCLAIMER: I have been known to know this particular band’s frontwoman.

Facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=114632393234&index=1

Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/meandthegrownups

Me and the Grownups (w Timothy Nelson). Vocals– Anita Lester. Violin, Viola– Jonathan Dreyfus. Guitar– Adrian Sergovich. 17 September, 8.00pm-10.30pm (Timothy Nelson at 8.00, Grownups at 9.00). Astor Theatre, corner Chapel Street and Dandenong Road, St. Kilda. $17/$13.

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